Was the recommendation made due to being similar in style or quality?
Originally Posted by hereticjon
Name of the Wind is badass. It's an incredibly well-written story about not much happening and somehow you can't stop reading the damn thing. Those books are great for theorizing about basically everything in them too.
My number one go to recommendation for someone who digs Martin's stuff is The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch though.
I suspect people around here who are fans of the podcast would enjoy Joe Abercrombie's First Law series and the standalones that come after though. R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing books are the last ones I'll mention for now just because there is a lot of trippy philosophy, reality vs. perception and sweeping brutal violence set in the richest world-building since Tolkien.
Sorry don't know what turned me into recommendation-bot there...
Originally Posted by ohgeez
I'm giving up on the Kingkiller Chronicles. First book was good, but #2 fell off for me. I thought it was kind of goofy.
I agree with the Prince of Nothing books. It goes a step further than ASOIAF in violence and grit. Even though I prefer Martin, Bakker's writing is on another level. Malazan book of the Falling is next on my hit list, Erikson is supposed to be similar to Bakker.
Originally Posted by Sultuhundurinn
Just finished the first two books in Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series.. so if you're having withdrawal symptoms while waiting for Martin's next book, you should check it out.
Originally Posted by hereticjon
Depends what you're looking to get out of them. They all do what they do very well. Some of them are more awesome, some of them are more fun, some of them will make you think more, some will affect you more emotionally. Bakker's stuff has so much going for it and yet you struggle to find someone to root for in that story at times. After a certain point Achamian is the only really sympathetic character and even he's a tough sell sometimes. He goes DEEP on his setting, his themes are pretty powerful and the plot has a forceful epic feel to it, I know the word "legit" gets thrown around a lot but I do feel like Bakker's admitted influences from Frank Herbert and Tolkien and the way they come through in his work kind of put him on another level. Go with Bakker if you want to ponder reality and consciousness while people die by the thousands and you have a strong enough optimism about humanity that it won't make you want to kill yourself or dominate everyone around you.
Abercrombie's not the best on world-building but his characters are top-notch. Abercrombie is like my favourite example of what sort of good stuff we have to look forward to now that Martin has kind of blown some doors open. He's got a wicked sense of fun and a biting cynicism that kind of runs throughout his stuff. He somehow makes a torturer loveable in a Mr. Bean-meets-Lewis-Black sort of way. Abercrombie has the best barbarians too, hands down. We have great barbarians in stories again, which is awesome, Joe's are the best though. Especially the Bloody-Nine. Go with Abercrombie if you want a story that kicks ass, takes names and makes you laugh.
Erikson's the king of scope. I never made it through all his books, I got out of it for some years and couldn't get back in but in most of his books he throws a wicked right to your emotional gut at some point. I think some people needed therapy after reading the Chain of Dogs in book 2. Erikson sometimes approaches writing the way the US approaches war, "Throwing more bodies into the fray can only end well". Go with Erikson if you want the most VAST story, like you're sick of hearing about a half dozen people and their crazy adventures and you want to see some continents burn.
Rothfuss is like the new guy on the block who is way above the rim (so far). He doesn't tell the best story but he sure has an awesome way of telling it. Go with Rothfuss if you're more interested in the beauty and skill with which a story can be crafted than the contents of said story. There's more to it than meets the eye too.
Couple more quickie recommends: If you like your asses bad, your heroes vulgar and your stories awesome read Heroes Die by Matt Stover!
I think I said it already but Lies of Locke Llamora is so damn good I don't even feel the need to describe it, I can only fail to express how good it is by the end. Starts off like Ocean's 11 in medieval Venice then shifts gears into the wonderful world of criminal underworld vengeance. Way too funny, powerful and good to be overlooked. I want a movie starring Ben Foster dammit.
Originally Posted by Dunyain
Bakker is pretty ****ing brilliant. I find him at least an order of magnitude superior to Martin. I'm glad more people are finding him (I've given the first book to about 10 people), I've re-read the series (5 books, the first is a trilogy, pending release of the final second trilogy (god ****ing damn, the Unholy Consult (so, you have these evil dudes who **** to death everyone (literally)). I noticed on a last re-read the first book (which was written over a 20 year period), IS a bit sophmoric sometimes in its actual writing. However, the mans ****ing brilliant, and gets into distracting stupid wars on his blog with feminists (hah).
Anyhow. First Law is also a fun read, but doesn't have enough ****ing Blood Nine. Its a bit silly. /Agree with heretic here as well, some awesome barbarians, but the series ends a little odd (unsatisfying).
If you want a treat, check out Bakker / The Prince of Nothing. Most people I've found who didn't like it just were disturbed by the subject matter.
Not to say I didn't enjoy Game of Thrones, its just boring writing (the writing itself) with a brilliant plot/story.
Edit; Heretic really nailed it, for the STUPIDLY EXPANSIVE SCOPE of Erickson (read that series twice, got too bored after a while (ending sucks)), and Bakker is great because you can't tell if you SHOULD root for anyone, and it goes very rabbit hole. Fantasmic, probably the best treatise on "magic" in a series (how it works, etc.), and its pretty damn frightening.
Very humanistic examination of "evil," etc.
Who are the Dunyain?
Edit 3: I say I'm happy more people are finding Bakker, as he still isn't doing overly well financially, despite the success of his novels. Amazingly weird how writing can be such an unpaid gig.
You may also like his Neuropath novel (non-fantasy, modern times), which is the most horrifying gut punch i've read in a while (so I had to give it to people), on Neurology and the ****ery of the government.
Originally Posted by Dunyain
Bing and Bing. Erickson's characters later in the series start to "blend," as if he forgot how to write his favorites. So many Deus Machines I wanted to throw the last book down. For gut punches / darkness, Erickson probably hits something like 20-30% of Bakker's level of "holy, ****."
I truly think Bakker's work is not only fantasy, but an incredible look at philosophy/life/emotions.
You say you "prefer Martin" story wise? I can see that. I find Martin's writing dull (non engaging), but the plot/story is amazing.
I'm only 15 pages or so into the book (prologue) and in the first 3 pages there has already been a young boy molested and then him killing his molester. So, I'd say those descriptions above are so far at least pretty accurate.
I was told that Terry Pratchett is as good, and some believe that he is in fact, better than Douglas Adams. So I've started the Diskworld series.
I went ahead and started with the very first even though it was recommended I didn't. Or at least I didn't have to.
And so far.... not bad. If this is consider a middling effort then the good Diskworld books must be quite good indeed. Excited to have another series to jump into while I still FUCKING WAIT FOR MARK OF ATHENA!!!!
It turns out that it's the most requested book at my local library by about a mile and a half....